Shocking photos have emerged of a mysterious 3,400-year-old kingdom that appeared after being submerged in water.
An extreme drought brought the archaeological site of Kemune back to the surface after it was mostly submerged for decades.
The site is believed to be Zakhiku, a Bronze Age city that was an important part of the Mittani Empire dating back to 1550 BC.
The Mittani Empire ruled for about 200 years until 1350 BC.
The site was excavated in January and February by Kurdish and German archaeologists.
According to CNN.
Ivana Puljiz, a professor from the University of Freiburg in Breisgau, Germany – and director of the project – sent an emergency team to the scene to excavate as much of the city as possible.
According to reports, they can record a good portion of the site.
“Due to the great time pressure, we dug in freezing temperatures, snow, hail, rain, even storms, as well as occasional sunny days, not knowing when the water would rise again and we how much time will I have,” Puljiz said.
Zakhiku has been submerged underwater since 1980, according to reports.
The site was around for a short time, including in 2018, when other documents took place.
But this time, the researchers were able to document many structures – including some that may have been damaged in an earthquake in 1350 BC – as well as clay cuneiform tablets. CNN reported.
“I was curious to see what the study of cuneiform texts would reveal about the fate of the city and its inhabitants after the devastating earthquake,” she said.
The tablets are in storage at the National Museum of Duhok.
Before the city was submerged again, the researchers were able to use plastic sheets to cover the ruins in hopes of preserving the site for the future.
Kemune is located along the Tigris River in the Mosul Reservoir in northern Iraq.